UPDATED: OC Mayor Unchallenged, Re-Elected; Council Field Set

UPDATED: OC Mayor Unchallenged, Re-Elected; Council Field Set
File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — There will be at least two new faces on the Ocean City Council after next month’s municipal election after incumbents Mary Knight and Dennis Dare did not file for re-election ahead of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

This year, the mayor’s seat is up for election along with four at-large City Council seats currently occupied by Council Secretary Mary Knight and Councilmembers Dennis Dare, Tony DeLuca and John Gehrig. The other seats held by incumbents Lloyd Martin, Matt James and Mark Paddack are staggered and will come up for re-election in 2022.

On Monday, with the clock ticking on Tuesday’s filing deadline, it was learned Knight would not be seeking re-election. Instead, her husband Frank Knight has filed for one of the four vacant seats. Frank Knight is active in the community and has served on various committees and task forces and currently serves on the Board of Port Wardens. He is also a fixture at Mayor and Council meetings.

The other shoe fell on Tuesday when Dare announced just before the filing deadline he would not be seeking re-election after serving the town of Ocean City in several different capacities for nearly four decades.

“After 38 years of service to the town of Ocean City, I have decided not to seek re-election to the City Council,” he said in a statement. “Since 1982, I have served as city engineer, city manager and city council member. It is with a degree of sadness that I step down.”

Dare outlined some of his numerous contributions to the town over the years. While much has been accomplished on his watch, there is still much more to be done.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the town through nearly four decades,” he said in the statement. “There is much left to do to move Ocean City forward and I wish my successors well.”

Incumbents DeLuca and Gehrig have also formally filed for re-election ahead of Tuesday’s filing deadline. Peter Buas, a lifetime resident who grew up in his family’s hospitality business, was one of the first to file for one of the four contested seats. Rounding out the list of city council candidates is the Daniel Hagan and Nicholas Eastman, both relative newcomers to the area who promise to bring a different perspective to the council if elected in November.

The Mayor’s seat comes up for re-election every two years and Mayor Rick Meehan formally filed in advance of Tuesday’s deadline. When the deadline passed on Tuesday, no challengers came forward, meaning Meehan has essentially been re-elected for another two years.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.